Celebrating Death

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  • #76
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We as humans have a biological instinct to dislike death (even for people we don't know, and who don't affect us). Sometimes the positive outcomes of certain deaths are enough to override this.

Why don't we want poor homeless people to do?
 
  • #77
ideasrule
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I most certainly do not have the same emotions as Bin Laden.
I don't believe for a minute that bin Laden's body evolved a new emotion that you aren't capable of, or that you've evolved a new emotion that bin Laden is not capable of.

So what? Poor upbringing does not decrease the level of evil. We are defined by our actions, not our potential.
This is very true, and we have the right to judge others based on their actions. However, when I hear about a serial murderer and learn later on that he was a victim of severe child abuse, I can empathize with the murderer. Treating him with hatred does nothing to change his violent mindset, and certainly does nothing to rehabilitate people like him. Rather, we (meaning society) should focus on understanding him as a human being defined by his unfortunate upbringing, so that we can better understand the causes of crime and try to prevent them from influencing law-abiding citizens.

You need to read his manifesto more closely. You're not correct. You're making-up excuses for him.
Here is a summary of bin Laden's 2002 letter to the United States. You can read it in full here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article6537.htm

(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?
(Q2)What are we calling you to, and what do we want from you?

Answer to Q1:
(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.
(a) You attacked us in Palestine
(b) You attacked us in Somalia

(c) Under your supervision, consent and orders, the governments of our countries which act as your agents, attack us on a daily basis

(d) You steal our wealth and oil at paltry prices because of you international influence and military threats.

(e) Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures.

(f) You have starved the Muslims of Iraq, where children die every day. It is a wonder that more than 1.5 million Iraqi children have died as a result of your sanctions, and you did not show concern. Yet when 3000 of your people died, the entire world rises and has not yet sat down.

(g) You have supported the Jews in their idea that Jerusalem is their eternal capital, and agreed to move your embassy there.

(2) These tragedies and calamities are only a few examples of your oppression and aggression against us. It is commanded by our religion and intellect that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression. Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge. Is it in any way rational to expect that after America has attacked us for more than half a century, that we will then leave her to live in security and peace?!!

(3) You may then dispute that all the above does not justify aggression against civilians, for crimes they did not commit and offenses in which they did not partake:
(Rebuttals follow, concluding with statement that American civilians are not completely innocent.)

All of the above perfectly support my point that bin Laden is killing civilians as a means to end American oppression, not as a goal in and of itself.

Not true. There is a world of difference betwen killing civilians accidentally and targeting civilians.
Yes, and the Americans can afford to avoid attacking civilians deliberately because its forces have an extreme technological and numerical advantage. What happened in Vietnam and WWII? The United States (and for WWII, all other Western powers) deliberately bombed civilians to slow the enemy's economy. In Vietnam, the US gradually escalated its attacks on North Vietnamese production facilities as the war dragged on. In WWII, the US nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as firebombing every major city; the British destroyed Dresden. I think these attacks were justifiable because they helped end the war, despite the regrettable civilian deaths.

Source? The attack easily could have killed 10x more than it did. I would have expected he was disappointed so many people got out before the buildings collapsed.
bin Laden was not expecting either tower to collapse. I highly doubt he was remorseful that he killed more than he expected, but the attack was not deliberately aimed at weak points in the building. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...den-didnt-expect-New-York-towers-to-fall.html

These two statements contradict each other. Oh, now I get it - that whole post was "delusional religious nut" logic?

Why in the world would we want to analyze this using "delusional religious nut" logic? I'm not interested in "delusional religious nut" logic or morality.
That post was most certainly not "delusional religious nut" logic. If your question is why I don't support bin Laden despite understanding his anger, the reasons are:

(1) It may be justifiable to kill civilians deliberately if it has a high chance of ending the war earlier. bin Laden's terrorism has zero chance of making the US or Israel more liberal-minded in its Middle East policy.
(2) I'm an atheist, and you can guess what I think about bin Laden's religious fundamentalism. However, being brainwashed and delusional is not the same as being evil. bin Laden just happens to be born in the Middle East and deluded into believing in jihad, instead of being born in the US and deluded into believing in young-earth creationism.
 
  • #78
ideasrule
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I have no problem calling OBL evil. And what do you mean he didnt mean for so many people to die? He flew planes into tall buildings in populated areas. Do you have a source for this? Also, the unfortunate death of civillians during the crossfire of war is nothing like ramming a plane full of innocent people into a building full of innocent people. In one case, innocent death is accidental and kept to a minimum. In the other case, massive amounts of innocent death is the goal.
See my response to russ.

On a side note: Please don't bring up Israel. If you want to debate that then start a new thread and I will see you there.
Don't bring up Israel? Osama's own justification for his terrorism, as well as the reason he became an extremist in the first place, is based on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Trying to discuss Osama without mentioning Israel is like trying to discuss physics without mentioning Newton's laws.
 
  • #79
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Don't bring up Israel? Osama's own justification for his terrorism, as well as the reason he became an extremist in the first place, is based on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Trying to discuss Osama without mentioning Israel is like trying to discuss physics without mentioning Newton's laws.
It's mainly that I disagree with your characterization of Israel's actions as human rights abuses. However, I do not want to derail this thread by starting a discussion on Israel so I will just drop it.
 
  • #80
ideasrule
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It's mainly that I disagree with your characterization of Israel's actions as human rights abuses. However, I do not want to derail this thread by starting a discussion on Israel so I will just drop it.
Oh no, that was not my intention. My point is that I could see why some people, including bin Laden, would characterize Israel's actions as human rights abuses. We don't need to discuss whether I personally believe this.
 
  • #81
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This seems like a piece of propaganda a politician makes up before declaring war, or a paragraph from a children's cartoon about good vs. evil.
It is propaganda. But the gist of it is not a story of good and evil, of devils and angels, although these words where used. The wolf is and always was the one who feeds on sheep. It is the one who preys on your in-group. The consequence is the same. The sheep is slaughtered.

If only the real world could be cleanly divided into such clear categories!
See above, you misinterpreted the text.

The moment we declare someone "evil", we tend to forget that the "evil" person is a human being with essentially the same DNA, same brain, and same emotions. We neglect to consider the possibility that we could be that evil person, if we had his upbringing and experiences. We also neglect to critically examine the factors behind that person's evil views in an effort to prevent those factors from surfacing in others.
So ? The DNA you bear makes you the most menacing life form on this planet against other humans. Ill put it very simple, the "evil one" is the one who harms your in-group.


I'm in no way supporting bin Laden, but his actions are at least understandable from the perspective of a delusional religious nut trying to end the (not entirely fictitious) American oppression of the Arab world.
Ok. Whats your point ? That understanding someone must necessarily have the result of mercy ? No it doesn't. The understanding of someone's motivations and behaviors will bring out in sheep emotions of mercy. In sheepdog this understanding will start different mental processes.
 
  • #82
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We as humans have a biological instinct to dislike death (even for people we don't know, and who don't affect us). Sometimes the positive outcomes of certain deaths are enough to override this.

Why don't we want poor homeless people to do?
No. Don't generalize. Not all humans have this "instinct" in them to dislike the death of others.
Who are those "others" is important for many humans. Depending on this, you may care or not about their death.

Don't fall in the trap of believing that all humans are like you.
 
  • #83
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And for the record: I don't want to give criticism to the US and support for the Bin Ladens, at all. I just don't want to be too quick in calling people evil or good, because by that same standards, everybody would be evil...
It's not about good and evil and other children stories micromass. It's about social groups, and how different humans within those groups report themselves in relation with other groups which cause a harm to the interests of the group. Make no mistakes, the sheepdog in your group are capable of a lot of aggression and behaviors who may make the sheep twitch in fear. Because they remind it of the behavior of the wolf. But at least the sheep is guarded. It;s way of life is preserved and can more or less have a safe haven where she can graze grass in peace, and not worry about harder decisions.
 
  • #84
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It is propaganda. But the gist of it is not a story of good and evil, of devils and angels, although these words where used. The wolf is and always was the one who feeds on sheep. It is the one who preys on your in-group. The consequence is the same. The sheep is slaughtered.



See above, you misinterpreted the text.



So ? The DNA you bear makes you the most menacing life form on this planet against other humans. Ill put it very simple, the "evil one" is the one who harms your in-group.




Ok. Whats your point ? That understanding someone must necessarily have the result of mercy ? No it doesn't. The understanding of someone's motivations and behaviors will bring out in sheep emotions of mercy. In sheepdog this understanding will start different mental processes.
lol, so soldiers are sheepdogs, and citizens are sheep. that's very clever.

too many puppies if you ask me.
 
  • #85
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It's not about good and evil and other children stories micromass. It's about social groups, and how different humans within those groups report themselves in relation with other groups which cause a harm to the interests of the group. Make no mistakes, the sheepdog in your group are capable of a lot of aggression and behaviors who may make the sheep twitch in fear. Because they remind it of the behavior of the wolf. But at least the sheep is guarded. It;s way of life is preserved and can more or less have a safe haven where she can graze grass in peace, and not worry about harder decisions.
1984 (Orwell) comes to mind.
 
  • #86
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lol, so soldiers are sheepdogs, and citizens are sheep. that's very clever.

too many puppies if you ask me.
What do you want to say ? That soldiers are not citizens ? In any case, you can add politicians to your puppy list, ppl working in public service, and a nice percentage of other humans who do different jobs, but who are not not blinded and in denial.

As for the rest of the flock, it suffers from a form of Stockholm syndrome. Oh, so much misplaced empathy for the ones who shaft it. Rather than wasting your empathy on the ones who slaughtered your kin , go out and help an old lady cross the street, or help your old neighbor carry her bags to her home. Or whatever, make a child happy.
 
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  • #87
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What do you want to say ? That soldiers are not citizens ? In any case, you can add politicians to your puppy list, ppl working in public service, and a nice percentage of other humans who do different jobs, but who are not not blinded and in denial.
And let me guess. You're the one who is not blinded and in denial? How convenient...

As for the rest of the flock, it suffers from a form of Stockholm syndrome. Oh, so much misplaced empathy for the ones who shaft it. Rather than wasting your empathy on the ones who slaughtered your kin , go out and help an old lady cross the street, or help your old neighbor carry her bags to her home. Or whatever, make a child happy.
The great thing about empathy is that you don't get to chose who you give your empathy to. It's an emotion that comes without you wanting it to come.
And who says that we don't also make children happy or help old ladies? You can do that too, and still feel empathy for others who may not have been so fortunate in life...
 
  • #88
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And let me guess. You're the one who is not blinded and in denial? How convenient...
Id post of video to the beheading of Eugen Armstrong for you to watch it, but Im afraid it doesn't fit well with the regulations of this board. Maybe it would make you see clearer who is in denial. Just google it. Watch it. Then waste some more tears and empathy for the poor beheaders, thinking what garbagety childhood they had, how they have the same DNA as you do, how they feel the same emotions , how they did not been very lucky in live and other such platitudes.


The great thing about empathy is that you don't get to chose who you give your empathy to. It's an emotion that comes without you wanting it to come.
Yes you are right. Then I consider myself damn lucky my brain doesn't "chooses" to waste energy on generating empathic feelings towards some of my fellow humans.
 
  • #89
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Id post of video to the beheading of Eugen Armstrong for you to watch it, but Im afraid it doesn't fit well with the regulations of this board. Maybe it would make you see clearer who is in denial. Just google it. Watch it. Then waste some more tears and empathy for the poor beheaders, thinking what garbagety childhood they had, how they have the same DNA as you do, how they feel the same emotions , how they did not been very lucky in live and other such platitudes.
You evaded my point. Do you feel better than the people who do feel empathy towards others??

Yes you are right. Then I consider myself damn lucky my brain doesn't "chooses" to waste energy on generating empathic feelings towards some of my fellow humans.
But the one that doesn't feel empathy, can only feel hate. I'm sorry, but I don't like to hate other people, they're not worth it...
 
  • #90
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But the one that doesn't feel empathy, can only feel hate. I'm sorry, but I don't like to hate other people, they're not worth it...
Your assessment is incorrect, but anyway, this made me laugh , no offense. So you consider specific others unworthy of your hate, but at the same time you proclaim your unflinching empathy towards them.

Whats gonna be ? Unworthy, or so worthy that you are willingly given to give them their empathy, find a place for them in your heart like all good human beings must do. Do tell me pls. Or maybe the brain is just playing the cards you got at your birth and the modulations of your social upbringing ?

Besides, hate , as empathy, is an emotion. As you said, "the great thing about empathy is that you don't get to chose who you give your empathy to". It's the same with hate. Or if it is not, your theory about the subjects of empathy doesn't hold any water,
 
  • #91
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Your assessment is incorrect, but anyway, this made me laugh , no offense. So you consider specific others unworthy of your hate, but at the same time you proclaim your unflinching empathy towards them.

Whats gonna be ? Unworthy, or so worthy that you are willingly given to give them their empathy, find a place for them in your heart like all good human beings must do. Do tell me pls. Or maybe the brain is just playing the cards you got at your birth and the modulations of your social upbringing ?

Besides, hate , as empathy, is an emotion. As you said, "the great thing about empathy is that you don't get to chose who you give your empathy to". It's the same with hate. Or if it is not, your theory about the subjects of empathy doesn't hold any water,
You didn't answer my question.
 
  • #92
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You evaded my point. Do you feel better than the people who do feel empathy towards others??
How the hell should I know how does a person who feels empathy towards be-headers feel about themselves. Im not like you, I cant think like you. I cant compare myself to you. Like I said, I consider myself lucky that my empathy doesn't kick in for such beings and this is as fair as an answer I can give without markedly falling into self serving biases. Your characteristics may be an adaptive advantage in a certain environment, while mine can be an advantage in other environments.

I would certainly not have the arrogance to proclaim and I paraphrase "It is this mercy that makes us different from such people". IMO this is just a self-serving bias. Sheep, wolf, sheepdog, none is intrinsically better than the other (from an adapative PoV) when all its said and done. They just exercise different functions in different social contexts.
 
  • #93
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How the hell should I know how do a person who feel empathy towards be-header feel about themselves. Im not like you, I cant think like you. I cant compare myself to you. Like I said, I consider myself lucky that my empathy doesn't kick in for such beings and this is as fair as an answer I can give without markedly falling into self serving biases. Your characteristics may be an adaptive advantage in a certain environment, while mine can be an advantage in other environments.
Fair point, you're probably correct in this.

I would certainly not have the arrogance to proclaim and I paraphrase "It is this mercy that makes us different from such people". IMO this is just a self-serving bias. Sheep, wolf, sheepdog, none is better than the other when all its said and done. They just exercise different functions in different social contexts.
Well, it may seems like a self-serving bias from your point-of-view. But your entire "sheep,wolf, sheepdog"-story and things like "you're in denial and blind" also seem like a self-serving bias in my point-of-view.

I can't make you feel empathy, that doesn't make you a bad person, at all. But you can't make me feel hate towards others, you probably find that naive, but so be it. Let's just accept that we're all different here. And isn't that a good thing? Being all thesame certainly would be a boring world...
 
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Well, it may seems like a self-serving bias from your point-of-view. But your entire "sheep,wolf, sheepdog"-story and things like "you're in denial and blind" also seem like a self-serving bias in my point-of-view.
Think a bit this from a different PoV. Do you feel drawn to jobs positions in which you may have to decide the fate of the others, do whatever **** it takes and live with the burden? Would you want to be a criminal judge ? Prosecutor ? A federal Marshall ? Military ? Civilian security contractor ? A politician ? Drawn to other high risk - high power jobs ?

If you feel drawn, it is most likely your a dog. Frankly I consider the dog seeing the threats better than the sheep, it has been breed for this (for humans this is a combination of genes and up-brining ), and it is better equipped to deal with them.

Dont look at terms sheep and sheepdog as insulting. This is not the intention. Certainly not mine, and I think Col Grossman who wrote that piece didn't intended to insult anybody as well. The basic message is that some humans are better equipped than others to recognize and negotiate threats and deal with them. It doesn't make then intrinsically better humans, it makes them better at some specific jobs. And ya, neither are the dogs biases free, no human is.

I can't make you feel empathy, that doesn't make you a bad person, at all. But you can't make me feel hate towards others, you probably find that naive, but so be it. Let's just accept that we're all different here. And isn't that a good thing? Being all the same certainly would be a boring world...
I agree 100% with you. I dont want to change you, besides, it is an impossible task. Your personality and behavioral traits are most likely stable by a long time and they don't evolve anymore. As are mine. It's a good thing we are different.
 
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